India on Friday morning recorded 3,47,254 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection count in the country to 3,85,66,027 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The daily case count on Friday was 9.36% higher than Thursday’s tally of 3,17,532 infections.

The toll rose to 4,88,396 after 703 new deaths were recorded. The toll was high as Kerala added 309 deaths as part of its reconciliation process to include older Covid-19 fatalities.

There are 20,18,825 active cases in the country and 3,60,58,806 patients have recovered from the infection so far.

The daily positivity rate stood at 17.94%, higher than the weekly rate of 16.5%.

The Omicron cases tally increased by 4.36% since yesterday, taking the case count to 9,692, government data showed.

As many as 1,60,43,70,484 Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the country since the inoculation drive began in the country on January 16 last year. Of these, 70,49,779 doses were administered on Thursday alone.

(Source: Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)

India updates

  • On Thursday, the coronavirus cases increased steeply in Karnataka as the state registered 47,754 new infections in the past 24 hours. The new cases were 17.91% higher than Wednesday’s figure of 40,499 infections. As many as 30,540 of the new cases on Thursday were reported from the capital city of Bengaluru alone, state Health Minister Sudhakar K said. However, testing numbers were high in the state. Karnataka conducted 2.58 lakh tests between Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Sudhakar K also said that 99.1% of the state’s eligible population has been administered with the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.   
  • The Union health ministry said that the percentage of senior citizens with co-morbidities who have received a precautionary dose of Covid-19 vaccines till now is relatively low at 39%. Out of 47.81 lakh eligible senior citizens, 18.68 lakh have received booster doses, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press conference. Bhushan said that the Centre is constantly engaging with state governments to ensure that the uptake increases.
  • The Delhi government cut the maximum price of RT-PCR tests at private laboratories from Rs 500 to Rs 300 and reduced the cap of Rs 700 for home collection and tests to Rs 500, reported The Times of India. The maximum price for a rapid antigen test, or RAT, at private laboratories has been brought down to Rs 100 from Rs 300. Tests conducted at government establishments remain free.  

Global updates

  • French Prime Minister Jean Castex said that his government will ease work-from-home rules from early February and allow nightclubs to reopen after two weeks as the coronavirus situation in the country was starting to improve, reported Reuters. The limit on the number of people allowed into sports and entertainment venues will be lifted on February 2 and people will be allowed to eat snacks at cinemas from February 16. 
  • Austria’s Parliament voted on Thursday to bring a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for adults from February 1 with maximum potential fines of up to 3,600 euros (around Rs 3.03 lakh) for people who fail to comply after a series of reminders, reported AP. Officials said that the the mandate was necessary as Covid-19 vaccination rate remained too low in the country.
  • Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 34.21 crore people and killed over 55.73 lakh, according to Johns Hopkins University.